Katherine Maria Routledge, née Pease, was an English archaeologist and anthropologist who, in 1914, initiated the first true survey of Easter Island. She was the child of Kate and Gurney Pease, and was born into a wealthy Quaker family in Darlington, County Durham. She graduated from Somerville Hall, with Honours in Modern History in 1895, after the Second Boer War, she traveled to South Africa with a committee to investigate the resettlement of single working women from England to South Africa. In 1906 she married William Scoresby Routledge, the couple went to live among the Kikuyu people of what was then British East Africa, and in 1910 jointly published a book of their research entitled With A Prehistoric People. In 1910 the Routledges decided to organize their own expedition to Easter Island/Rapa Nui and they had a state-of-the-art 90-foot long Schooner built and named it Mana. They affiliated with the British Association for the Advancement of Science, the British Museum, the Mana departed Falmouth on 25 March 1913. They arrived on Easter Island on 29 March 1914 and they established two base camps, one in the area of Mataveri and the other at the statue quarry, Rano Raraku and also explored Orongo and Anakena. With the help of an islander named Juan Tepano, Routledge proceeded to interview the natives and catalogue the moai, as the tattooing tradition had been suppressed by missionaries in the 1860s this particular primary evidence was unavailable to later expeditions except through her records. During their stay, the German East Asia Squadron, including the armored cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, while the expedition covered up their main discoveries to hide them from the Germans, the Germans converted their fleet to a fighting trim. There is no record of what steps the schoolmaster took to persuade the German fleet to leave Chilean waters, but they did depart, most of them to Coronel, some of the stranded French merchant seamen were recruited as labourers by the expedition. Routledge also decided to mediate in the rebellion against the sheep ranch that was led by local medicine woman. The Routledges departed the island in August,1915 returning home via Pitcairn and she published her findings in a popular travel book, The Mystery of Easter Island, in 1919. Hundreds of the objects that she and her husband found are now in the Pitt Rivers Museum, most of her scientific conclusions are accepted to this day. Her brother, Harold Pease, also suffered mental illness. Routledge became involved with Spiritualism during her Oxford years and practised automatic writing, after 1925, her schizophrenia got worse and displayed itself in the form of delusional paranoia. She threw Scoresby out of her Hyde Park, London mansion and she also hid many of her field notes. Her family blamed Angata, accusing her of being a witch doctor, in 1929 Scoresby and her family had her confined to a mental institution. Her husband gave the notes he found to the Royal Geographical Society
The Mana at Easter Island, 1914.
The excavated Ahu Tongariki, 1914. At the time, all moai were still overturned and there were no palm trees on the island.